Human brain is a peculiar thing with many glitches and self-repairing systems coexisting harmoniously inside it… For instance, memories of long-past events may wear out of our conscious recollection’s reach very easily and rapidly. Fortunately, the brain tends to recall at least those memories that have carried an emotional charge a bit easier. It is yet easier to remember if one has a memento to associate with something of the distant past…
To say that I went down the memory-lane this Saturday morning would be an understatement: I actually went to an entire cognitive amusement park. Guests are great for some things, after all – like dragging you to the city’s renowned flea-market at 7am!
Open-air market-going is in my blood: when I was little and lived at my grandparents’ over the summers, this was our Sunday morning ritual with granny. She was doing the necessary shopping, and I would most often run off to zig-zag the entire market, usually simply admiring the colors and patterns of everything around, and occasionally buying some small things (although I was a strange child even back then: I spent most of my pocket money on crossword puzzle magazines and newspapers… Seriously, I still think I should’ve tried being a bit more into toys at that age!).
I’ve also enjoyed the Berlin flea market when I went there – even got myself a couple of 1-Euro books and a clothing item I am yet to gather the guts to actually wear. However, the Prague flea market at Kolbenova one was simply epic!
Some of the statuettes and utensils made me wish I had an actual house to decorate – many little things would be amazing for that purpose. Antiques hunters would have an absolute blast of a field day there, as would designers of any sorts – the place is truly inspiring, if only by the diversity of displayed whatever-nots alone. Going there left me sleep-deprived, but put a major smile onto my face. I fished out about 20 coins that were at least a century (or several) old for a Euro each and two pairs of earrings (yes, I AM obsessed) for a total of 2 more coins’ worth. Next time I might take a bit more money and check some clothing items – a few i had seen from afar looked inspiring by both their weirdness and the ridiculous price-tags (some just 3 Euros per item).
The scope of sheer randomness of items for sale is hard to imagine unless you see it for yourself. Some things mesmerize you by beauty, others make you shake your head in disbelief. Everything can be found: from priceless of the expensive kind to priceless of the worthless kind, but of course the monetary value of most things is open to negotiation within the range pre-determined by the imagination and sentimental attachment of the owner (at one point, my flatmate and I were even offered to take some things for free without buying anything 🙂 I guess us being two girls and the vendor being a young lad might’ve had something to do with it 😀 ).
Purchasing part aside, it is a feast for the eye and the mind, bringing back the memories of times long past, the flavors and scenes of life you were afraid you forgot. Many people put out their memories – attached to any given items on display – up for grabs for a sum that can never reflect their immaterial worth. If you get something from such a market, you often get a piece of a very personal and intimate history of unrelated to you strangers, in whose lives those items played a role and worked as their own mementos. Even if you just observe, in a way you would have lived a few hundreds of lives by the end of the day, while ageing by only a few hours – and who wouldn’t wish for a magic opportunity like that?